Monday, July 16, 2012

Dinosaur Baking 101

     There is a reason why I don't own a bakery, and that reason was made more apparent to me this weekend than ever before.

We celebrated Brett's birthday this weekend, and the theme we picked was Dinosaur. This post is dedicated to the construction of his birthday cake(s). It would make sense for me to have a list of ingredients, and a portion for directions somewhere in here. As many of you know - I don't read directions, so actually making my own directions to share with you all is well, going to be pathetic. Don't forget to wing it. Live a little.

        Initially I had grandeur ideas of a dinosaur cake that would simply amaze everyone. I had the ideas in my head, but didn't attempt to execute any of them, or hell, even buy supplies until the day before the party. I thought for sure that the baking area of Micheal's craft store would have a dinosaur shaped cake pan so that I could bypass baking in different shaped pans and designing something. Wrong! 38 delightfully shaped cake pans for my purchasing pleasure, and nary a dinosaur. Total crap guys, total crap. I think this was the universes way of telling me that this wasn't a traditional birthday party for a child, this was a manly dinosaur party so I needed to bake accordingly. I guess.

This all resulted in me going home empty - pan handed. I stood in the kitchen looking at the supplies for quite a while before I came up with my master plan. Not having a plan for the below pictured dinosaurs helped me greatly.
As you can see on the label for the dinosaurs: "Hours of creative fun.". For a child? I doubt it. For myself and my niece Chels who helped me? Oh hell yes. I decided that we would construct two volcano cakes, and strategically place our dinosaurs in the lava. If you feel so inclined to prepare such a stellar treat for any of your future parties here is what I used:
- 2 boxes of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
- 2 bundt pans
- 1 small rectangular pan in case you need what Chels and I so lovingly called "Band Aids" for 
various pieces of the volcano. That cake mix will fill 2 bundt pans and the small rectangular pan.
-a kitchen mixer
- a ton of bowls for various crap
- white cream cheese icing
- red food coloring
- orange food coloring
- 1/2 package of vanilla pudding mix (still not sure why I felt like adding that, but it was delightful)
- finely grated semi sweet chocolate (for dirt)
- plastic dinosaurs to die in your molten deliciousness of a cake.
-- you probably don't need the really cute baby picture, or the zombie dice game that can be found in the photo - these items are optional.

Directions? Ok:
- Bake the cakes according to the box, cool, remove from pans. Once again, improvise when necessary. For instance, after you grease the cake pan it says to lightly flour. I had no flour... I used some of the powder from the pudding mix because that was the first thing I spotted in my arsenal of goodies that resembled flour. Roll with it people. 
- Laugh hysterically every few minutes. 
- Look at the 3 cakes and scratch your head for a very, very long time. I swear Chels and I spent an hour asking one another what in the hell do we do now. We chopped that rectangular cake up in a million different ways, and just started sticking crap together until we felt it was in a volcano worthy shape. We melted a bunch of the semi sweet chocolate into the icing and poured it on, and spread it out. Once that cooled we grabbed that chocolate dirt and started slingin. Take the extra dirt and pile it up around the bottom for extra awesomeness.
- Make sure that the recipient of the cake (most likely the birthday girl or boy) does not see the process of making the cake, they need to see the finished product only. Trust me.
- Make red icing, make orange icing, melt them down so that they will pour easily. Pour them onto cake to make lava. 
- Jab the crappy plastic dinosaurs into the cake. If one cake looks significantly worse than the other be sure to stick the ugly dinosaurs into that cake. 
- Ta Da! You are done, high five everyone around. 
This was the lesser desirable of the two cakes, 
and this was it's brother:
I would say that Chels and I artfully crafted for about 3 hours, well 3 hours less the baking and cooling time. It was rather tasty if I do say so myself. 
Now I am going to patiently await the food network to call me so I can star in my own show. 

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